Editorial| Volume 60, ISSUE 7, P697, July 2007


      As Editor I thought, when I started, that I would be able to commission many themed issues, but this single issue has taught me just how much unimagined work is involved in each issue. I was so pleased to ask Paco Pinal to be guest editor: he and I had a first, slightly taut, exchange when he wrote to criticise my inclusion of a pedicled toe transfer in the Journal. Since then he has been kind enough to invite me to his excellent course in Santander which is notable for many reasons not least the celebration each year of the diversity of ability and ingenuity that characterises European Hand and Reconstructive Surgery. When JPRAS moved away from its parochial British roots, no one was more surprised than I at how readily the British ‘establishment’ of Plastic Surgery accepted the change. I had made the mistake of believing the caricature the media promotes of all British people being anti-European and isolationist, too allied to the American way to see the values of their own continent. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whilst we all acknowledge the heritage of the Anglophone nations, we cannot forget that ‘He who thinks he has an original idea in Plastic Surgery doesn't read German’. (For ‘German’. almost any major European language could be substituted, of course). So this issue celebrates some cultural and geographical diversity amongst Europeans, and we hope more European groups will join us as SICPRE recently has. I hope JPRAS will remain an International Journal grounded in European values.
      It also celebrates diversity amongst specialties. Plastic Surgery is a grouping of indeterminate size, not least because no one can easily come up with a clear definition of what is and what is not Plastic Surgery. It is for this reason that BJPS became JPRAS and not JPS: we have broadened our reach to enfold all who carry out reconstructive surgery for function or appearance and welcomed all of them into the family of PRAS! In future it seems likely that this trend will develop in other areas of organisation. This doesn't mean that Plastic Surgery is no more: plastic surgery will continue in its techniques and ethos, but it might embrace a more diverse team-based approach with some surgeons doing only part of the repertoire we now expect, specialising narrowly, whilst others will be more general, able to troubleshoot across specialty or anatomical divides, but in need of narrower specialised support in some areas. There is a role for all and that diversity is not threatening but exciting: JPRAS welcomes surgeons and affiliates of all backgrounds to contribute to the advances in all aspects of the care of patients in need of surgical repair or reconstruction. We hope this issue emphasises some of these values within the specialised field of reconstructive Hand Surgery.